Posted: Feb 5, 2021 / 5:27 PM ESTUpdated: February 5, 2021 / 5:27 PM EST
Bradford County, Pennsylvania District Attorney Chad Salsman will be tried in Maganda, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. The Pennsylvania District Attorney was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting women who were his clients in criminal and child cases in which he worked as a defense attorney. (Brianne Ostrander / The Daily Review via AP)
TOWANDA, PA (AP) – A Pennsylvania district attorney promised Friday that he would stay in office while he battles sexual assault, maintains his innocence and complained about being handcuffed and “shown on television cameras” by the attorney general.
Bradford District Attorney Chad Salsman, who took office a year ago, was charged with sexually assaulting women who were his clients in criminal and custody cases while he was serving as a defense attorney.
Prosecutors told a grand jury that he groped her, looked for nudes and pressured or forced her to engage in sexual acts, sometimes on his desk.
In a statement emailed by Salsman on Friday from his Bradford County government address, Salsman accused the allegations of “malicious lies” and promised to “vigorously defend myself against these false allegations.” He added, “Everyone who knows me knows that the picture the Attorney General is painting is not Chad Salsman.”
Prosecutors said Salsman asked women to remain silent about his attacks, and people who worked in his law firm told investigators they had repeatedly seen female clients leave his office crying. He was charged on Wednesday with three sexual assaults, five indecent assaults, intimidation of witnesses, obstruction and promoting prostitution.
Republican Salsman accused Democrats Attorney General Josh Shapiro of turning his case into a media spectacle. He also claimed that Shapiro’s office told him that if he resigned, “they would treat me less harshly. If I continued to maintain my innocence, they would treat things very differently. Because I haven’t committed any crimes, I turned down their offer and they kept their word to publicly humiliate me and try to destroy my life and career. “
Shapiro’s office said a grand jury examined the evidence against Salsman as in any other case, adding to the public “have the right to understand charges against a seated officer”.
“Mr. Salsman’s allegations of politicizing his arrest and this investigation are false,” said Shapiro’s spokesman Jacklin Rhoads.
Salsman said he has turned court and judicial work over to his assistants while his criminal case is pending. He said he would continue to set guidelines and monitor prosecutors.
The 44 year old Salsman was elected in November 2019.